DOH: No medicine yet to prevent or treat COVID-19

Published March 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Analou De Vera

Health authorities reminded the public on Wednesday that there is still no medicine to prevent or treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire

The Department of Health (DOH) has cautioned the public against the use of  anti-malarial drug chloroquine, citing that it is still not approved for the treatment of the dreaded disease.

“Ito pong chloroquine ay isang off-label drug. Ibig sabihin ginagamit po ito for another purpose. Ito po ay isang anti-malarial drug at ito po ay meron din kaakibat na side effects kaya po pinag-iingat po natin ang ating mga kababayan na kumuha po ng tamang impormasyon sa paggamit nito,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

[Chloroquine is an off-label drug, meaning it is being used for another purpose. It is an anti-malarial drug and has potential side effects. So we advise the public to get proper information regarding its usage.]

“Ang mga gamot po na ito ay binibigay with the adequate guidance po ng ating mga doktor bago po natin ito magamit,” she added.

[This medicine is being given with adequate guidance from doctors before patients can use it.]

This was seconded by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration as it reminded the public that social distancing and proper personal hygiene are still the best way to prevent contracting COVID-19.

“To date, no specific medicine is recommended to prevent you from getting infected with COVID-19. Proper hand washing and social distancing are the only ways to prevent you from getting infected,” it said.

“Common and uncommon side effects include eye disorder (blurring of vision and color blindness), muscle weakness and spasm, psychotic disorders including hallucinations, anaemia, aplastic anaemia, and weakening of heart muscles,” it added.

Some countries are reportedly studying chloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19.